Maintain Straightened Teeth with Retainers
What Retainers Are For
Retainers help prevent your teeth from relapsing.
Teeth need to be reminded of their new position. Since movement can occur without your knowledge, retainers are critical to the effectiveness of your orthodontic treatment.
How Retainers Work
Since a plastic retainer is made from a rigid material, your teeth don’t have anywhere to go. They can’t shift around; therefore, they stay in alignment.
A lingual wire works the same way. By being bonded to the teeth, the thin metal holds everything securely.
Types of Retainers
Several retainers are available, including fixed (metal) and detachable (clear). The type of retainer required is determined by the patient’s recurrence risk, original malocclusion (tooth misalignment), and growth pattern.
Metal wires, also known as fixed (or bonded) retainers, are available in straight and zigzag patterns.
The straight wire is adhered in a straight line across the interior of your teeth, whereas the zigzag wire is attached in a shape that makes it simple for you to floss.
The composite resin is used to glue them to the inside of your teeth to prevent both from moving.
Even though zigzag wires might seem the better choice, your dentist will recommend what they feel is the greatest fit for your teeth based on your gum health, the shape of your teeth, and other variables.
It is crucial to monitor fixed retainers every six months during your check-ups and cleanings because they can come off during your lifetime. If they do manage to come off, our dentists can put them back on or give you a new one.
We advise you to visit our practice as soon as the retainer comes off to stop your teeth from shifting.
Removable retainers are transparent or metal appliances only worn at night and can be taken out anytime.
They are simple to maintain and have little effect on dental health, although they can alter speech when used. Clear retainers are the ideal choice for patients who can only wear a retainer part-time and are not at high risk of relapse.
There are three types of removable retainers, which are as follows:
*Hawley retainers–– also called wire retainers, composed of an acrylic base and a metal wire. These retainers help maintain the proper alignment of the six anterior teeth after orthodontic treatment.
Hawley retainers are frequently more comfortable than clear retainers and do not alter your natural tooth contact.
*Essix retainers (Clear retainers) –– also called clear retainers, are made of a thin, transparent plastic material. These retainers hold the teeth in place following treatment with clear aligners or braces.
Because your teeth won’t naturally touch, clear retainers may be more uncomfortable than Hawley (metal) retainers.
*Vivera retainer –– is another clear retainer used after Invisalign treatment to keep the teeth in place. This retainer is designed specifically for Invisalign patients.
How Long Do You Have to Wear a Retainer
How long you have to wear a retainer may depend on your case. Generally speaking, most people will wear clear retainers regularly for the first 6 months after orthodontic treatment.
After this, wearing the appliance only while you sleep is required. Lingual wires are always worn since they are permanently in place.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are retainers important?
Retainers are very important, especially if you don’t want to wear braces again! Our Melbourne CBD team can align your teeth and move them where needed, but after your braces are removed, we still need something in place to stabilise all that progress we made.
Teeth can shift throughout your life. Any small force over time can cause small shifts in the alignment and placement, and those small shifts can lead to bigger shifts. Retainers help prevent these shifts from occurring following braces treatment.
How long do retainers last?
Like any other dental appliances worn in the mouth, retainers can wear down and may eventually crack. Your Melbourne CBD dentist recommends replacing retainers once they have broken.
If cared for properly, retainers should last at least two years, if not longer.
How should I keep my retainers clean?
Clean your retainers with a soft-bristled toothbrush under running cold tap water. Don’t soak or wash your retainer in hot water or the dishwasher – it will warp and/or melt.
How much do retainers cost?
The average cost of Essix retainers is $270.00 to $300.00 (Conditions apply) and 3 business days turnaround.
Costs for other types of retainers have to be discussed over a consult.